There are over 700 species of eucalyptus worldwide and we’re looking forward to seeing great ones soon.
The weather is perfect, 60-ish and sunny. The roads are clean and the riding, same as NZ, is on the wrong side of the road. Also the same as NZ, there are tons of efficient roundabouts. We’re headed south, more-or-less down the coast in a 4 or 5 day loop. It’s easy and fast pavement. No dirt on this loop. It looks like this most of the day
Then a bit down the coast to our first stop at Yallingup
We’re headed for a famous sailor’s waypoint. There’s a small coast road shown on the map, so we take that.
The riding is perfect. Fast open curves, no-one around, great light. The eucalyptus tress change, and then, on only our second day here, we ride through a forest that’s so beautiful it almost beyond words. Later I find out this is a very famous stretch and the best example of what they call the karri tree, which is actually eucalyptus diversicolor. They’re one of the tallest trees in the world, growing to over 250 feet. The picture does this no justice, the scale is hard to see. The trees are immense, maybe 150 to 200 feet tall, spaced far apart, and the view here is maybe a quarter mile deep, from up on a road ledge, looking down somewhat. So it’s a huge scene and maybe the best forest I’ve seen since Panama
It’s our lucky day because a little further along we see a sign for Jewel Cave and we pull in. There’s a building with a cafe and tours of what they say is the biggest cave in Western Australia. It’s $20 and an hour to get down and up. I’m told that it wouldn’t be a good idea in my riding gear. We find somewhere to change set off with a small group. Along a tunnel
When we got to the bottom the guide asked us if we’d like to have total darkness. When she killed the few lights and we settled into it for a few minutes, it was indeed black dark and quite a cool experience.
Back up top we’re excited to get to our destination, Cape Leeuwin. This is a waypoint followers of round-the-world boat races can identify with. The Vendee, the Volvo, the Jules Verne, all mark a point in the Southern Ocean by announcing ‘south of Cape Leeuwin!’ For many years I’ve had that a fixed point of progress of a boat I’ve followed and supported in my imagination. It’s the most south-westerly point of Australia.
We need an Aussie sign off. Can’t use Saludos much anymore, as much as I wish we were back in LA and still could, but that will pass. We’ll think of one.